Soot formation in oxidation of allene, 1,3-butadiene, vinylacetylene and chlorobenzene and in pyrolysis of ethylene, vinylacetylene, 1-butene, chlorobenzene, acetylen-hydrogen, benzene-acetylene, benzene-butadiene and chlorobenzene-acetylene argon-diluted mixtures was studied behind reflected shock waves. The results are rationalized within the framework of the conceptual models. It is shown that vinylacetylene is much less sooty than allene, which indicates that conjugation by itself is not a sufficient factor for determining the sooting tendency of a molecule. Structural reactivity in the context of the chemical kinetics is the dominant factor in soot formation. Detailed chemical kinetic modeling of soot formation in pyrolysis of acetylene is reported. The main mass growth was found to proceed through a single dominant route composed of conventional radical reactions. The practically irreversible formation reactions of the fused polycyclic aromatics and the overshoot by hydrogen atom over its equilibrium concentration are the g-driving kinetic forces for soot formation.